Q:

What is a touchback in football?

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Quick Answer

A touchback is a play that occurs in football when the ball is ruled dead by the officials on or behind the receiving team's goal line. This offense generally occurs after a kickoff, punt, fumble or interception. After a touchback occurs, the ball is placed on the offense’s 20-yard line.

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Full Answer

An example of a touchback occurs when the punt or kickoff enters the end zone and is ruled dead before the ball is advanced past the goal line. Another example of a touchback occurs when a player on the receiving team touches the ground without advancing the ball beyond the goal line. A touchback also occurs when the ball goes beyond the receiving team's goal or out of bounds behind the receiving team's goal line.

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